Monk Bretton Priory

Adam Fitz Swain’s 12th-century priory of St. Mary Magdalene at Lundwood, Barnsley is also known as Monk Bretton Priory. It was a daughter house of St Johns Priory for Cluniac monks, founded by Ilbert de Laci (de Lacy) near to his base at Pontefract Castle.

Cluniacs at Monk Bretton controlled agriculture and natural resources on many sites between Wakefield and Rotherham. Their market charter was the cause of Barnsley’s growth into a West Riding market town. King Edward I was troubled when monks came from La Charite-sur-Loire in France to fight for control of this wealth. Here lived ‘the black monks of St Mary’s priory’ in The Lytill Geste of Robin Hood. They are commemorated in the nearby Mill of the Black Monks restaurant.

After dissolution under Henry VIII, it was home to the Armyne and Talbot families, descendants of the Earl of Shrewsbury.